summer was made for reading

My hubby and I have been together for more years than I care to count. Somewhere during our early time together we developed a habit that pretty much has stayed with us. That is, we read the same book, more or less, around the same time and then sit for hours thoroughly vetting it. Back when we first got together, he liked stuff like The Hobbit and was responsible for finally getting me to read it. Once I did, I fell in love wbooksith the world Tolkien had created. His famous trilogy, Lord of the Rings, might’ve been the first trilogy I ever read, and yes, each book was a cliffhanger, and I LOVED that about them!! We read the books together, even read them aloud to our son. These days we trade genres. We listen to true crime or mysteries the same way we watch movies on Netflix or Prime and with certain TV shows (most recently Goliath) by discussing the heck out of them. We go over the characters, the pace, what we would’ve done differently, and re-read or re-watch the ones we like best. From one book lover to another, summer is our finest hour. During the land of reruns and the lack of anything good on TV, we can always crack open a book. We relish the search through our Kindle for something we haven’t yet tried. Or we load something new on the iPad and get comfy in bed. While we dissect the plot lines and laugh at the characters, we’re still connecting. After all these years, we still enjoy what began a long time ago…our love for books.

 

 

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movie night in the park

We don’t all live in a small town, but if you’re looking to experience that small-town feel, there are ways to do it. My neighbors recently announced that this summer they plan to set up movies in the park, once a week, until school starts up again in the fall.

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David Tsay

The idea first took off in 2007 when neighborhoods across the US decided to set aside specific nights when they would “take back their parks.” It motivated them to get out and meet their neighbors in an attempt to deter mischief after hours.  It isn’t all that hard to make it happen.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. If you don’t happen to have an inflatable movie screen, create your own using the side of your house, garage, fence or other type building, then cover the area with a white sheet.
  2. Make sure you have access to an electricity source and a LONG extension cord, probably around 100 feet and don’t forget a surge strip.
  3. Find a good location for your projector.  Make sure whatever model you have hooks up to a computer, tablet or DVD player and that you have access to the movie in the corresponding format.
  4. Set up your speakers. If you don’t own a decent set of speakers, ask your neighbors. Someone always seems willing to bring a pair they have sitting around in their garage. Even a Karaoke machine will work. Just know that you will need to make sure you have the right jack to hook up to the DVD player.
  5. If you need extra lighting, you can always hang twinkle lights or tiki torches so people will be able to find their way to the bathroom in the dark.
  6. While everyone arrives and is milling about trying to find their perfect spots for their blankets, yoga mats, and chairs, you can always offer short cartoons until the main feature starts. Anything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies would work. Let Daffy Duck or Porky Pig entertain the kiddos until the main event.

After all your hard work, grab the popcorn and pretzels, then sit back and enjoy a night under the stars.

Here’s a few movie suggestions to get you started:

  1. Lilo and Stitch
  2. Tangled
  3. Dumbo
  4. Toy Story
  5. Monster’s Inc.
  6. Ratatouille
  7. Brave
  8. Cars
  9. Shrek
  10. Zootopia

The main thing is to have fun and get to know your neighbors.

Keeping Cape Summer

Ocean. Sand. Long summer nights. A sexy Cape Cod escape.

What could possibly go wrong?

Keeping Cape Summer

Simon Bremmer has put war and the Army behind him. He’s living the good life stateside in Pelican Pointe. He’s doing what he loves. His business is booming. He has no complaints. But all that is about to change when he gets a visit from a Boston lawyer. She not only drops a bombshell but delivers a package he never expected.

Single mom, Gilly Grant, has given up on men. She’s trying to raise her three-year-old son by herself and deal with her mother, who has suddenly developed complicated health issues. When Simon walks into the hospital on her shift, the world as she knows it tilts toward a love she never wanted or expected.

Together these two will forge a bond that grows deeper until one night it’s all put to the ultimate test. Will Simon be able to pull Pelican Pointe back from the brink of tragedy? Will he be able to save its future? Will he be able to come through for the people he loves?

For this former sniper who’s tried so hard to put the war behind him and live a normal life, he may find it all too much, because this time everything he loves hangs in the balance.

Keeping Cape Summer

Ocean. Sand. Long summer nights. A sexy Cape Cod escape.

What could possibly go wrong?

Simon Bremmer has put war and the Army behind him. He’s living the good life stateside in Pelican Pointe. He’s doing what he loves. His business is booming. He has no complaints. But all that is about to change when he gets a visit from a Boston lawyer. She not only drops a bombshell but delivers a package he never expected.

3D KCS PNG

Release Date: May 29, 2018

Single mom, Gilly Grant, has given up on men. She’s trying to raise her three-year-old son by herself and deal with her mother, who has suddenly developed complicated health issues. When Simon walks into the hospital on her shift, the world as she knows it tilts toward a love she never wanted or expected.

Together these two will forge a bond that grows deeper until one night it’s all put to the ultimate test. Will Simon be able to pull Pelican Pointe back from the brink of tragedy? Will he be able to save its future? Will he be able to come through for the people he loves?

For this former sniper who’s tried so hard to put the war behind him and live a normal life, he may find it all too much, because this time everything he loves hangs in the balance.

 

Eleventh in the award-winning Pelican Pointe Series.

pineapple sage

Looking for a sweet-smelling addition to your spring garden? Try pineapple sage. It blooms late summer into the fall. the long stalks produce gorgeous crimson flowers. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies love this perennial that also doubles as an annual in certain zones.

pineapple sage

Image credit: Michlers.com

run, grunion, run

grunion-run-2

Image credit: KCET.org

If it’s March, it’s grunion time up and down the Southern California coastline. What are grunion? To put it bluntly, they are rather weird-looking silvery fish that swim ashore to spawn. It’s a big deal here in SoCal. To watch this romance blossom, you’ll have to set aside an evening somewhere between March and August and pick a beach anywhere from Malibu to Crystal Cove, or San Pedro to La Jolla. The sandier the beach, the better. Grunion don’t like gravel. Make sure it’s high tide because these little critters bring their sexy bods on shore by the thousands and wriggle around until the female settles down into the sand, tail first to lay her eggs. The males swagger over to curl themselves around the females and release milt that fertilizes the eggs. The afterglow doesn’t last very long, (long enough for the eggs to incubate though) before the grunion rely on the waves to carry them back out to sea where they swim off and have lots of little grunion. According to the experts at the Birch Aquarium grunion runs are triggered by high tides during new and full moon phases, every spring and summer.

If you go to watch, don’t wreck the mood, observe from a distance and let nature take its course. During April and May the grunion runs are closed, meaning its okay to watch but no catching. June through August it’s okay to catch with your hands but you are not permitted to use a scooping device. Don’t forget you’ll need a license if you intend to take away any catch at all.

meet-the-grunion

Image credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

A side note:  Halibut is especially plentiful during these months and a lot more tasty than grunion. IMO. If you want more info on best guesses as to when the grunion are at peak, check the Ca.gov website. Remember these dates and times aren’t carved in stone, so don’t expect these marine critters to perform on demand.